SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts announced a major new challenge grant during the most successful “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert in the event’s 22-year history on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
A $1.5 million challenge grant from the Morris Foundation will support the school’s Meadows Scholars Program. Led by SMU alumnus Ken Morris ’72 and his wife Linda of Carefree, Arizona, the foundation will match gifts designated to the Meadows Scholars endowment by Thursday, December 31, 2015.
Education is a primary focus of the Morris Foundation, and the family has provided significant support to SMU over the years, including gifts for the Information Technology Center in Blanton Student Services Building, Campus Technology Initiative, the Kenneth R. and Linda A. Morris BBA Scholars Endowment Fund, MBA Scholarships and, most recently, the Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Cox School of Business.
Through donations and the Morris Foundation match for gifts designated to permanent endowment, the event raised over $1 million – a new record – for the Meadows Scholars Program.
The Meadows Scholars Program was launched in 2008 and provides scholarship support to applicants who meet both stringent academic and artistic criteria. The program has helped SMU successfully compete for the brightest and most talented students nationwide.
“We are deeply grateful to the Morris family for this generous commitment to enhance student quality at SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “With this challenge grant, the Meadows School of the Arts will be able to continue to build this critical scholarship program and to successfully attract the nation’s top students in the arts and communications fields.”
Black Alumni of SMU will celebrate 13 of the organization’s history makers and introduce the inaugural Black Alumni Scholarship at an evening reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, in Centennial Hall, Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
The honorees at the reception will include some of the first African-American athletes to play at SMU, alumni who championed civil rights on campus and leaders such as the former student body vice president who established the annual SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. A slideshow of historic photographs, press clippings and other documents from the SMU Archives will help tell the stories of the honorees. They include:
Jerry LeVias ’69 (right) – the first African-American player in the Southwest Conference to receive an athletic scholarship.
Mike Rideau ’76 and twins Joe and Gene Pouncy ’74 – members of the 400-meter relay team that won the Southwest Conference championship for three consecutive years.
Bernard Jones ’01 – the first write-in candidate elected to the SMU Student Senate and, in 2002, the first person elected student body president without a runoff in a multi-candidate race.
Rev. Michael Waters ’02 – the former student body vice president who, while serving as a chaplain’s assistant in 2004, founded the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the “shrines of freedom” throughout the South.
The “SMU 33”– a group of students, includingRufus Cormier ’70,Charles Howard ’72,Charles Mitchell ’71,Michael Morris ’72,Anga Sanders ’70 andDetra Taylor, whose activism in 1969 drew attention to the need for more diverse faculty and curriculum.
Rev. Zan Holmes ’59 (right) – a Perkins School of Theology graduate who, as pastor of Hamilton Park United Methodist Church and a Texas legislator in 1969, helped successfully resolve the standoff between the “SMU 33” and University administration.
The program is open to the public. For more information, contact Mary Jo Dancer, 214-768-1303.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Intel’s Visual Computing Academic Program and working with the ISTC-VC,” says Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU. “Our Master’s students are creating new worlds through interactive video game development here at SMU. This funding will help us collaborate with Intel and other universities to reach new levels of realism and expand the practical uses for visual computing.”
Intel’s Visual Computing Academic Program was established to accelerate the development of tools and techniques for interactive rendering on highly parallel architectures. The program encourages collaboration between Intel product development teams and elite academic research programs.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work more closely with The Guildhall going forward,” said Intel’s Randi Rost, manager of the Visual Computing Academic Program. “Through this relationship, we will be able to harden, optimize, and polish visual computing research results and incorporate them in game environments. This will provide value to students at the Guildhall, to our visual computing research collaborators, to Intel product development and enabling teams, and ultimately to consumers who use Intel platforms.”
“Having our faculty and students recognized by Intel as key contributors to the future of visual computing is very gratifying. It will also allow us to collaborate with other great minds at Intel and other universities,” Raad adds. “We hope to be announcing winners of this year’s research scholarships and their projects soon.”
SMU’s annual Scholarship Interview Day brings more than 100 of the nation’s best high school students to the Hilltop to show them what the University has to offer.
The 2010 event, which takes place March 19, is an opportunity for these top students to learn more about SMU and its two leading merit-based programs – the President’s Scholars program, directed by Associate Provost Tom Tunks, and the Hunt Leadership Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Ellen Pryor.
It will be a busy weekend for prospective students: The Office of Undergraduate Admission is also hosting more than 1,000 interested high school juniors and their parents. Later, on March 25-26 and April 9-10, accepted students and their parents will visit campus to learn more about SMU and make their final decisions.
For the University, Scholarship Interview Day helps determine its next class of top scholars – and as such, it may be the most important opportunity for the University to make its case to its most highly qualified applicants.
“We know that prospective students have many choices and offers of admission and that universities like SMU are in fierce competition for the best and brightest,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner wrote in an e-mail message to faculty and staff March 16. “Thankfully, we have a remarkable campus community that can attract, enroll and serve these promising students as they pursue their studies.”
On March 20, more than 100 of the nation’s best high school students will visit SMU for an annual event that will show them what the University has to offer and help determine its next class of top scholars.
Merit Scholars Day 2009 is an opportunity for these top students to learn more about SMU and its two leading merit-based programs – the President’s Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Tom Tunks, and the Hunt Leadership Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Ellen Pryor.
But it’s also an opportunity for the University to make its case to some of its most highly qualified applicants, Tunks says.
“These students are among the brightest in the country,” he says. “They have opportunities at many institutions, and they get many offers as good as ours. Part of this whole process is making sure we present our best face.”
The program, which will begin during the Fall 2009 semester, will award $10,000 per semester for 2 semesters to a graduate-level Guildhall student. The scholarship “will honor an outstanding applicant who exemplifies the AIAS’ spirit and commitment to advance the worldwide interactive entertainment community,” according to a joint news release from AIAS and the Guildhall.
“SMU and AIAS have a shared vision and responsibility to further the industry and support the next generation of game makers,” said Peter Raad, Guildhall executive director and founder. “Our mission has always been to produce future industry leaders and the very best game professionals. We are honored to have the AIAS as a partner in helping us fulfill this mission.”
“There is no better time for us to invest in the next generation of game makers,” said Joseph Olin, AIAS president. “We want candidates who can share their vision and goals for this industry – our future influentials who will address the challenges of game creation and inspire new ways of making games.”
To be considered for an Academy Scholarship, a combined panel of senior AIAS members and an SMU review board will evaluate and rank each admission portfolio. The applicants with the highest rank order will be invited to submit an essay for consideration to win the scholarship.
The AIAS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “promoting awareness of the art and science of interactive games and entertainment.” Its Board of Directors includes senior executives representing Sony, EA, Nintendo, Microsoft, THQ and Ubisoft as well as the independent development community.
SMU President’s Scholars Alexandra Hill and Katrina Josephson have been chosen as 2009-10 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars. The Rotary Foundation has sponsored Ambassadorial Scholars since 1947, with key objectives being to “increase awareness of and respect for cultural differences by sending ambassadors of goodwill to study in another country” and to “develop leaders who can address the humanitarian needs of the world community.”
Hill, a senior double-major in international studies and electrical engineering in Dedman College and the Lyle School of Engineering, will study at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland. Josephson, a senior political science and Spanish double major in Dedman College, will study at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in the Dominican Republic.
The Cox School of Business hosted an economic roundtable for Dallas-area media in November 2008. Participants included Cox Dean Al Niemi, Brian Bruce (Alternative Asset Management Center, Cox School of Business), Nathan Balke (Economics, Dedman College) and Cox adjunct professor Harvey Rosenblum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Read more from The Dallas Morning News.
A $1 million gift from John C. and Debbie Tolleson (left) of Dallas will provide additional support for the Edwin L. Cox BBA Scholars Program in SMU’s Cox School of Business. The merit-based undergraduate scholarship program was named in fall 2007 in recognition of a $5 million challenge grant from Cox toward a goal of $10 million for endowment of the Scholars Program. The Tolleson gift supports that goal.
“Merit scholarships for outstanding students are one of SMU’s greatest priorities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “By supporting the Cox BBA Scholars Program, John and Debbie Tolleson are helping us to attract additional top students who will benefit from our excellent programs and contribute to our rise in academic quality. We are grateful for the Tollesons’ generosity and foresight in making this gift.”
The BBA Scholars Program was established in 2002 to provide scholarships for highly qualified first-year students who are admitted directly into the Cox School of Business. About 100 students enter SMU as BBA Scholars each year. Selected from more than 500 candidates, those entering in fall 2007 represented 26 states and three countries and had an average SAT score of 1401.
One of SMU’s oldest and most distinguished academic departments has new resources to support the growing impact of its research and teaching, thanks to a gift of more than $10 million from the Honorable Roy M. Huffington of Houston. The gift endows the Department of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College, now renamed the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
With this new gift, announced March 27, Huffington has given SMU over $20 million in the last two years and a total of more than $31 million over many years of support for the University. In fall 2006, he provided just over $10 million in endowments for faculty support and student scholarships at SMU. Huffington received his bachelor’s degree in geology from SMU.
“SMU’s research and teaching in the earth sciences is already internationally recognized, producing successful scientists who help us understand the history of our planet as well as the prospects for developing future energy resources,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Roy Huffington’s generosity will enable the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences to make an even greater impact on the challenges faced on a global level.”
With the aid of a $500,000 gift from the Ernst & Young Foundation, SMU’s Cox School of Business has created a tax concentration for the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program. The Ernst & Young gift will support the establishment of new graduate tax courses, as well as the Ernst & Young Tax Scholar and Ernst & Young Tax Mentor programs, which will provide scholarships and mentoring opportunities to full-time MSA students pursuing the tax concentration.
Students in the tax concentration will take the 16 required hours of accounting that all MSAs take (which includes four hours of taxation courses), along with four additional courses in tax accounting: Advanced Entities, Tax Research, International and Interstate Tax Accounting, and Accounting for Income Taxes. Successful completion of the new tax concentration will enable individuals to enter the accounting profession as highly trained tax professionals and increase their overall marketability.